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July 8, 2010

ULM Pharmacy Doctoral student speaks at biotech conference

A University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy doctoral student recently spoke at a biotechnology conference hosted by the Laser Technologies Applications Group, an intellectual exchange group of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

ULM’s Ajeesh Koshy Cherian delivered a presentation about his novel approach to microdissecting neurons to check protein levels associated with hypoglycemia, a condition in the body that occurs when blood sugar levels drop and often require insulin to stabilize.

Koshy Cherian shared how he applied laser technology to perform his research with representatives from various high-tech research institutions such as Duke, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University.

Koshy Cherian said when single neurons are microdissected and analyzed, they provide valuable information about the brain that could be compared to finding out more about a neighborhood by getting to know the individual residents who live there.

His biotechnological findings are made possible by the COP’s acquisition of a highly specialized laser-catapult microdissection system manufactured by Zeiss, a global leader in the optical and opto-electronic industries headquartered in Germany.

“What he has accomplished is revolutionary,” said Dr. Karen P. Briski, Department Head of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences at ULM.

“His research is unique and a completely innovative use of the equipment we are fortunate to have acquired. We are really well ahead of the game, both in terms of research and the equipment to perform that research,” she said.

Koshy Cherian, who delivered the talk titled “Application of Single Cell Quantitative RT-PCR and High Sensitivity Immune-blotting to Laser Micro-dissected Metabolic Senor Neurons,” was the only non-Ph.D. level presenter at the June workshop.

The talk was “very interesting and appropriate, and prompted several questions from the audience,” according to a MicroLaser Imaging Systems sales representative who said the “real world experiences” was a valuable component of the three-day workshops.

The presentation was given at the Omics Discoveries Workshop and held at the David H. Murdock Research Institute in North Carolina.

“It was a most wonderful experience,” said Koshy Cherian. “I am thankful to Dr. Briski for the opportunity to present my findings.”

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